In honor of Women’s History Month, state Sen. Anthony Portantino recognized 15 accomplished women from across his district who have positively contributed to their communities and the state, including five honorees from Glendale and La Crescenta.
Women of Distinction Awards went to Dr. Frieda Jordan, Edith Fuentes, Hasmik Keyribarian, Taleen Khatchadourian and Joanna Linkchorst. These Glendale-area women have exemplified and extended volunteerism, philanthropy and leadership in Senate District 25, Portantino said in a statement.
“I am proud to recognize 15 remarkable women who are dedicated to serving our communities with distinction,” said Portantino. “The breadth of their successful efforts are reflected in countless individuals they have helped and inspired. They are all deserving of this special recognition and I am thankful to be in a position to shine a light on them and the difference they make for the 25th Senate District.”
The 25th Senate District Women of Distinction Awards Reception was held on Sunday, March 12, in Pasadena.
The California Legislature first recognized March as Women’s History Month in 1987 and has since continued the tradition. Each year, members of the Legislature recognize exceptional women in their district with a celebration commemorating their efforts.
DR. FRIEDA JORDAN
Jordan is the co-founder and president of the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry, which was established in 1999 to bring the hope of life-saving bone marrow stem cell transplantation. She has served as associate director of the HLA and Immunogenetics Laboratory at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and headed the DNA Molecular Typing Division at Foundation Laboratory. In 2009, Jordan and her colleagues launched the ABMDR Stem Cell Harvesting Center in Armenia. ABMDR has recruited more than 33,000 donors in 31 countries, identified close to 4,400 patients and facilitated 39 bone marrow transplants to date. Jordan has also conducted workshops worldwide and co-authored numerous medical papers.
Fuentes is a Glendale resident who served as the city’s planning and zoning administrator from 1993-2012, making her the longest running administrator and highest-ranking Filipino American executive. She has authored several books, papers and journal articles on the subject of planning, zoning, building and construction methods for universities and students. She is an associate member for the American Institute of Architects and has served as board member and past president of the Filipino-American Business Association of Glendale, as well as the local Soroptimist International.
Over the past 20 years, Keyribarian has devoted herself whole-heartedly to the Armenian American Medical Society, an organization that provides professional development opportunities for health care providers and resources for the community to lead healthy lives. Through her work with the Armenian American Medical Society, she has led efforts to organize the annual Glendale Health Festival, which provides free vision, dental, and medical care for nearly 1,000 children and adults in the community. It is through her unwavering involvement in the Armenian community that she found herself volunteering with various organizations including the Armenian Education Foundation and the Western Diocese.
Khatchadourian has been an active member of the Armenian American community for many years and dedicated her time to Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School and organizations such as Homenetmen (Armenian General Athletic Union and Scouts) and the Armenian General Benevolent Union. Khatchadourian has served as board adviser to the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry since its inception, co-chairing its first Walk of Life and receiving the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2009 and again in 2015.
Recently, Khatchadourian joined Guidelight Group and has worked to assist transition-aged teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities by advocating for their needs. Khatchadourian is the current board president of the Armenian Autism Outreach Project, with a mission to support individuals and families affected by autism, while educating the community for a meaningful integration for all individuals.
Linkchorst, a lifelong resident of the Crescenta Valley, served on the board of the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley and as a docent at the Autry Museum of the American West. She founded the Friends of Rockhaven and recruited other advocates to lead the charge for the preservation of the site. As president of Friends of Rockhaven, she has spent a decade leading tours, doing research and telling the stories of the women who worked and lived there. She continues to give tours at Rockhaven and looks forward to when it will be open to the public.
First published in the March 18 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.